Iraq War Veteran Is Back Home, But Plans Another Tour

by Devin Katayama on September 3, 2011

Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum is already planning another U.S. trip after finishing a nearly 8,000 mile hike around the county to raise money and awareness for military families.

Yocum and a group of 50 walked the last mile to the Louisville Slugger Museum on Saturday. He walked a total of nine miles in the final day. He was lead by a full military marching band playing down Main Street. Some people stopped to take pictures of the celebration, as Yocum held the hands of his mother and his wife, Mareike Yocum, who walked the first 4,000 miles of the journey with him.

Congressman John Yarmuth and Mayor Greg Fischer met Yocum at the finish line to congratulate him. He was raised high enough to sign a large banner attached to the Louisville Slugger Museums over-sized bat, where he wrote, “We made it.”

“Eight-thousand miles, man, did you realize that when you set out from here,” said Fischer, who announced that Sept. 3 would be known as Troy Yocum Day in the city of Louisville.

Yocum began his journey in April 2010, expecting to be finished in 15 months and to raise $5 million. Despite a few set backs including problems with his kidney stones,  a foot infection and fatigue, coming in late and short of his goal is still a success, he said.

“There was definitely times when I wanted to quit but I kept thinking about this day right here,” he said.

But he’s not finished, he said. Yocum raised just over $500,000 dollars by Thursday and around 34 sponsors will donate an undisclosed amount on Sept. 14 in New York City, he said. He’ll continue working with Wish Upon a Hero, helping veterans in need. But first, he wants to take a month off before he prepares for his next trip, he said.

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